Friday, September 18, 2015

The Shack


Overview

A kidnapped daughter is presumed dead, and when her grieving father receives a letter, apparently from God, inviting him to the scene of the crime, he can't help but go.  What he finds there will change his world forever.
 
 
I finished reading The Shack last night. I have heard a lot about this book over the past few years. It was very controversial when it was first published. I just put this book on my 'to be read' list and basically forgot about it. Reading a review recently that talked about how a person was struggling through grief and had found this book to be beneficial made me seek it out.
 
 
First of all I have to talk about the writing. I didn't find this book to be that well written. It just didn't ring true to me. The author did not expect this book to be published. It was a "story" written for his children. It was a story to help his kids understand God and that forgiveness is essential to living a peaceful life. It is his view of what "The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit" would look like if they took on a human form. Once I understood this then reading the book was simply reading a story.
 
 
I will admit that it makes me think of how often we "over-think" religion. All God wants us to do is love him and love one another. Man has put so much of himself into religion that God is getting lost. I don't think this book is trying to tell us anything different. It isn't trying to teach anything we don't already know. People who have gone about bashing this book might just be reading more into it than the author intended. I don't know. I am not an authority on the subject. It didn't change any of my views about God or the Bible.
 
I like this piece of writing found on page 188:
 
 
 

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” Frederick Buechner

 
 

This is what I will take from this book. I carry my family and friends in me. I don't live in the world. The world lives in me.

 

 

 
 
 
I know people who have read the book more than once. Once is enough for me. I know people that couldn't finish reading the book for one reason or another. That is okay! To me it was just a story. A story about forgiveness. I don't know that I will ever be able to reach the level of forgiveness that Mack reaches.  I say good for him. And I know I have a long ways to go. 
 
I hope you will share your views about the book.

    

 
 
 
 
 



 



12 comments:

  1. I know how people struggle with grief, as do you. And I do believe that forgiving is the only path to true peace. Thank you for this review. I know how hard it was to write it, probably as hard as reading the book was at first. Thanks again, Paula.

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    1. Struggling with grief is not something anyone will ever understand until they go through it themselves. Reading the book wasn't that hard once I could make myself remember it was just the author's view on what God would be like. It didn't really help me with the idea of grief.

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  2. Hi Paula!
    My head understands the power of forgiveness, but (so far) my heart's loathe to follow.
    Honestly, I don't know that I'll seek out The Shack ... but I'm so taken with that passage you've shared. I'm thinking it may have to go up on my bulletin wall!

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    1. I agree with you Myra about forgiveness. I don't know that I could ever forgive the person who murdered my child. As the main character in the book. Never! There are just some that do not deserve forgiveness. I love the quote as well. I will have to refer to it often!

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  3. I thought the story line could be could (if I had finished it, LOL); I just didn't personally care how he described God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Those were definitely not images I would have ascribed to them and found it hard to get into the back after that.

    betty

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    1. I felt that same way Betty! I was quite disturbed with the description for God! Not so much for Jesus, since we knew that Jesus real life father, Joseph, was a carpenter. And the ghost-like description of the Holy Spirit didn't bother me so much. I had to keep telling myself that the author had definitely used poetic license here.

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  4. I had not heard of this book. If it gets people to think, then that's a good thing.

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  5. I have not heard of this book and I probably won't seek it out. But I agree with most of what you said. Most importantly I think humans do over think religion. I do think God wants simple stuff that results in living a good life. And I agree with your comments on forgiveness. That action is very hard for me.

    I believe the whole range of human emotions and actions fits inside a bell curve. forgiveness of the most terrible actions falling on the plus side or the all good while the minus side or pure evil side of the curve holds all the human failings including the ability to forgive even the smallest transgression.

    As much as I would like to see myself at the most positive end of the bell curve, I know there are things that I have an inability to forgive. Killing one of my children would be one ... But sadly even far less serious offenses find themselves in that place as well. I hope some of my more positive qualities will balance out this short coming when I stand in judgement.

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    1. I like your theory of the bell curve! I have many things I cannot forgive for. Maybe that is a flaw in me??

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  6. I read this book many years ago. I thought it was a good story but not compelling. I had really forgotten about it until you mentioned you were reading it. I, like you, have no desire to read it again.

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    1. That how I feel Wendy! Just a nice story!!

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